Ultrasound (US) has been proposed as an alternative first-line imaging modality to diagnose community-acquired pneumonia in children. Lung US has the potential benefits over chest radiography of being radiation free, subject to fewer regulatory requirements, relatively lower cost and with immediate bedside availability of results. However, the uptake of lung US into clinical practice has been slow and it is not yet included in clinical guidelines for community-acquired pneumonia in children. The aim of this review is to give an overview of the equipment and techniques used to perform lung US in children with suspected pneumonia and the interpretation of relevant sonographic findings. We also summarise the current evidence of diagnostic accuracy and reliability of lung US compared to alternative imaging modalities in children and critically consider the strengths and limitations of lung US for use in children presenting with suspected community-acquired pneumonia.
- Community-acquired pneumonia